VP of Engineering

Health Moonshot – Engineering
Alpha is an innovation start-up based in Barcelona, established by Telefonica in early 2016.  Alpha’s mission is to create Moonshots: audacious projects that use radical ideas and breakthrough technology to address some of the biggest challenges in society.  Moonshots are designed to affect 100 Million people or more, be a force for good on the planet, and grow into impactful businesses (see www.alpha.company).

We are building a team to work on ground-breaking and life-changing projects in the health and learning sector.  More Moonshots are to come in a range of exciting domains.

Alpha Health Moonshot
Worldwide, healthcare costs have been increasing faster than GDP for 50 years, whilst key indicators such as life expectancy have plateaued in many countries.  The root cause is a change in disease burden; across the world, today’s biggest diseases and biggest killers are chronic diseases such as cancer, heart attack, stroke, and mental health disorders.  In fact, for every life saved from infections since 2000, we’ve lost two lives to chronic disease. 

It’s now well-established that the main cause of chronic diseases is everyday behaviours such as poor diet, lack of exercise, using tobacco, excessive alcohol, or lack of sleep.  Yet healthcare systems are not geared-up to manage such behaviours at their source.  To make the challenge even harder, pioneers in neuroscience and behavioural economics have begun to reveal that people are not even really in conscious control of much of their everyday behaviour.

At Alpha, we believe that advances in neuroscience, mobile computing, and machine learning now mean we can help people to take control of their own behaviour, optimise their life, and limit the effects of unhealthy behaviour on their bodies and their minds. 

To support our work, we are partnering with the best academics, developers, companies, and professionals around the world.

We are looking for a VP Engineering who will report to our CTO and be responsible for building and running our cross-functional team of software engineers.
The VP Engineering will lead the technical team across all the phases of our innovation funnel and will interact regularly with our Product, AI and Research teams, covering an enabling role for technology transfer and cross pollination between departments.
Building cutting-edge technology in a Moonshot requires a unique mindset which blends fast-prototyping paradigms with state-of-the-art engineering solutions. One of the main challenges of our environment is the need to move as fast as possible across the innovation funnel, from early-stage proofs of concept to mature products that scale up for population-level impact, while maintaining the right balance between technical debt and speed. For this reason, the VP Engineering must be extremely comfortable working according to a non-conventional technical approach and devising novel processes to increase performance and motivation in the engineering team. 
- Work with CTO and Tech Leads on the definition and implementation of a solid technical roadmap;
- Devise the short-term delivery strategy to ensure code quality, organization, reusability, and automatization;
- Build, manage and develop technical teams across a broad range of technology stacks (mobile and web frameworks, back-end services, cloud architecture);
- Oversee the design of our technical architecture and ensure consistency of technological solutions across all engineering units;
- Devise and enforce a monitoring strategy and SLA policy for our services;
- Monitor KPIs in the engineering team to deliver the best performance;
- Hold regular 1:1s with the engineers and mentor them;
- Work with our cybersecurity team to implement best practices;
- Be a liaison between engineering and science (Research and AI teams);
- Oversee engineering budgets and forecasts;
Desirable Skills/Attributes:
- 5+ years of experience as VP of Engineering or equivalent senior leadership role;
- Academic credentials in computer science, computer engineering or a related major;
- Management of cross-functional teams with 20+ members;
- Team player with strong motivational skills;
- Understanding of budgets and business-planning;
- Experience working in Agile/Scrum methodologies and frameworks;
- Experience with cloud-based architecture (we use AWS);
- Experience building cloud-based data engineering solutions;
- Experience implementing automated testing platforms;
- Excellent communication skills, fluency in English;

Alpha Perks
We provide all the necessary help and perks to make your life at work and outside of work fun and comfortable all year round, like:
-       Benefits package (health, pension, life)
-       Casual dress code and open culture
-       Flexible work schedule
-       High social impact with world-wide reach
-       Free daily catering for lunch and large stocked kitchen
-       Weekly ‘Lunch and Learn’ sessions with guests talking about the most varied world topics
-       Work and learn with some of the very best minds in innovation and ideation
-       A friendly and open environment
-       A democratic team culture that encourages everybody to contribute ideas and acquire new skills
-       Based in Barcelona, right by the beach!

Final Note
Join us on this exciting journey if you’re motivated by making the world a better place, for real, by making a positive impact on society and by improving people’s lives.  This is about solving really hard problems – not (just) about making cool things.  You could personally have an effect on millions of people’s lives.  Are you up for the challenge?